Real Floors, America’s largest multifamily unit flooring company, has reclaimed days of admin time since adopting Everlance for driver compliance verification. What’s more, their employee car allowances are now tax-free and IRS-compliant.
Katherine Davis, executive administrator for the CEO, CFO, President and VP, shares the story of how Everlance became a household name at the company.
Real Floors has been serving property managers with next-day flooring installation, service and repair since 1987. In 2022, the company merged with Arbor Contract Carpet. The move more than doubled their locations and expanded their service offering, and they emerged as the nation's leading multifamily flooring company.
Now a second-generation family-owned business, Real Floors has extended its specialty in multifamily units to single-family rentals and commercial units. They serve 29 major US markets and employ over 800 professionals.
Headquartered in Marietta, Georgia, their commitment to employee wellbeing has earned them a well-deserved spot in Atlanta Journal Constitution’s “Best Place to Work” list for eight consecutive years.
As part of its compensation model for sales reps and account executives, Real Floors provided a flat monthly car stipend. It was a simple program to help cover the cost of gas and other related expenses since employees drove their own vehicles to visit customers. The allowance was the same for everyone, regardless of how much they drove or where they were located.
However, staff were not required to track their miles, leading to unforeseen tax implications. Without mileage logs, stipends are treated as income and taxed at the same rate as base pay – from 22 to 30% depending on the state. On top of that, the company has to pay payroll taxes on the allowance.
When Real Floors realized how much money ends up going to the IRS in the absence of mileage logs, they quickly became concerned. The take-home amount for employees was a lot less than what it should be, not to mention a lot less than what it cost the company to offer the program. Katherine Davis, Executive Administrator, captured the situation succinctly:
"Once that flat rate was taxed, it was going to be almost not worth our time, and we were not going to battle that."
Something needed to change. To take care of employees and make the allowance a more valuable benefit, they needed to require mileage logs.
Katherine was already familiar with various mileage tracking solutions from her time working at other companies, and understood the clear time-saving benefits that come with automatic tracking.
Based on that previous experience, a few things were important to Real Floors when choosing a partner:
Real Floors chose Everlance because we delivered on each of these aspects better than all the other options on the market.
As Katherine suspected, the rollout of an automatic mileage tracker did cause some “big brother” concerns among a few employees. However, open communication, Everlance’s clear emphasis on privacy, as well as the dollars the program would keep in employee’s pockets, ultimately overcame those initial questions.
Everlance keeps all trips private to an employee and does not share them with the company until they are classified as work-related. The company can’t see their exact location in real-time. And by having those work trip details documented for IRS compliance, they effectively grew how much money they were taking home – on the order of hundreds of dollars every month for most employees.
Everlance’s ease of use certainly didn’t hurt, either. For drivers, getting started was as simple as installing the app and completing their initial license and insurance verification. Then the app recorded trips on autopilot and employees simply have to categorize trips as work or personal, taking very little of their time.
From the admin point of view, Katherine also praises how easy it is to generate reports with the Everlance dashboard on her own. Any report she wants to pull is at her fingertips, and if there’s something special she needs, her Customer Success Manager (CSM) gets it taken care of quickly and with a personalized touch.
[.quote-wrap][.quote-top][.quote-top]I know I'm not [Everlance CSM]’s only client, but I definitely feel like I am - always. (In our previous experiences) the reporting was slow, to get someone on the phone was slow and everything was just very slow. With Everlance, any type of report I want to pull is at my fingertips. And if it's not, [Everlance CSM] will get that for me. That's really important, and how fast it comes as well.[.author-attribute][.is-realfloors][.is-realfloors][.author-facts][.author-facts][.author-bold]Katherine Davis, [.author-bold][.author-pos]Executive Administrator[.author-pos][.author-attribute][.quote-bottom][.quote-bottom][.quote-wrap]
Real Floors started using Everlance to maintain IRS compliance for non-taxable car allowances. But after adoption, they were pleasantly surprised by some of the other benefits that come with a comprehensive, modern platform.
As Real Floors realized, a significant portion of vehicle allowances is wasted on taxes if mileage is not tracked and reported per IRS requirements. Rolling out Everlance has resulted in tax-free car allowances, both for Real Floors and all their employees.
Sales reps and account executives appreciate that they do not have to pay taxes on their stipends. They get to keep 100% of what the company is giving them to cover their work-related auto expenses, effectively increasing their take home pay with minimal additional work. With such clear financial benefits, any concerns are all but forgotten.
At the same time, the company’s costs have gone down. The move was a true win-win.
Before Everlance, Katherine manually managed employee license and insurance verification, an important step to reduce risk as part of their vehicle program. That included checking new employees had adequate insurance, confirming every employee’s documents had not expired and following up with them to submit updated ones if so. She was spending nearly two days every month on this process.
Everlance has taken that burden completely off Katherine’s shoulders, and she has those 16 hours back a month. That’s 10% of her workload reduced!
[.split-text-wrap][.text-wrap][.text-wrap-paragraph]As part of enrolling in the vehicle program, employees are prompted to submit their license and insurance information. Everlance verifies that it meets the company policies, or notifies them if action is required. Furthermore, it automatically reminds employees of upcoming expiration dates, so they can update their information before they fall out of compliance.[.text-wrap-paragraph][.text-wrap][.mixed-font-b][.is-green-bold]10% cut[.is-green-bold][.is-info]in admin time from using Everlance[.is-info][.mixed-font-b][.split-text-wrap]Katherine can see each employee’s compliance status right on the Everlance dashboard, and still has visibility into their information if she wants to review it herself. But as the admin for five members of the Real Floors executive team, she has plenty else to keep her busy.
Needless to say, gaining that time back is priceless to her.
[.866][.blue-line]“I think you guys have cracked the code. You've made a fan. I can speak volumes about how easy it is, especially from an admin standpoint. There is no nonsense. Especially in a world where there's so much paperwork and so much to do and nothing is easy anymore,” she says. [.blue-line][.866]
And her bosses are pretty happy with the increase in administrative efficiency, too!
Once employees started turning in mileage logs, Real Floors got a much clearer picture of how many miles each employee was driving. Depending on their territory and what customers they were serving, different reps consistently drove more or less than others.
They had always known this, but finally had specific data they could use to set allowances based on an employee’s typical monthly mileage – a major factor in driving costs. Instead of paying everyone the same allowance, they can personalize allowances based on mileage and create a fairer program.
Using the data supplied by Everlance, Real Floors now re-evaluates car allowances annually. Higher mileage employees are paid a higher allowance, preventing any resentment that they aren’t getting accurately compensated for their higher costs. They’re more motivated to put in the miles needed to do their job effectively and more likely to succeed and stay Real Floors employees.
The result is a more equitable vehicle program that reflects their strong commitment to their workforce.
[.blue-wrap][.list-head]The bottom line:[.list-head][.list-subheading]Implementing Everlance for tax-free car allowances and compliance verification led to:[.list-subheading][.list-div][.list-div][.c-row-flex] [.is-1] [.list-check][.list-check] [.is-1] Major tax savings for both employees and Real Floors[.c-row-flex][.c-row-flex] [.is-1] [.list-check][.list-check] [.is-1]10% savings in admin time[.c-row-flex][.c-row-flex] [.is-1] [.list-check][.list-check] [.is-1]A more equitable auto allowance policy[.c-row-flex][.c-row-flex] [.is-1] [.list-check][.list-check] [.is-1]IRS-compliant records in case of an audit[.c-row-flex][.blue-wrap]
If you’d like to discover how Everlance can help your company realize benefits like these, please get in touch and schedule a consultation today. We'd love to hear from you!